Title

Social Media and Self-Beliefs

Presenter Information

Rebecca SeilheimerFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Sociology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Hackathorn

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Social media can be used to maintain and strengthen bonds (Ellison, Lampe, & Steinfield, 2007). Ideally, usage fulfills social aspects of a self-construal, leading to an increased self-esteem. Feedback from values, such as “likes”, may be reassurance of social status, allowing this increase of self-esteem. Thus, we expected that self-esteem and social media usage would correlate. We also expected that one’s need for reassurance would relate to social media usage. Finally, we examined what other individual differences might correlate or predict one’s social media usage.

Participants completed a survey containing the Attitude toward Social Media Scale (Pittman & Reich, 2016), State Self-Esteem Scale (Heatherton & Polivy, 1991), and Need for Reassurance (Coyne, 1976). The social media site preferred and the number of likes received on their most recent post was also recorded. Also, participants completed additional measures: Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ; Avila, Caseras, Molto, & Torrubia, 2001), and Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Bell, Boldero, Davies, 2015).

Our first hypothesis regarding state self-esteem (SE) was partially supported. Although participants attitudes toward social media was not correlated with SE (r=-.02, p=.982), it related to how many likes they received on their latest post (r=.28, p=.005). Our second hypothesis was not supported as excessive reassurance seeking was not related to social media attitudes (r=-.04, p=.681) nor likes (r=-.06, p=.541).

Exploratory hierarchical regression analysis indicated that other social media factors played a role in self-esteem. First, we added number of likes as a predictor (B = .28, p = .008), while controlling for type of social media (i.e., snapchat users had higher SE than non-users). The model was significant, F(3, 93) = 3.03, p = .033, R2 = .09. Addition of individual differences improved the model, F(7, 89) = 5.67, p < .001, R2 = .31. Interestingly, the only significant predictor was avoidance of punishment (B = -.40, p < .001). These results suggest there is more to understanding the effects of social media on SE than previously thought.

It is important to note that data is still being collected. At this point statistical power is low, but results are promising. We believe that the feedback received through social media can offer self-esteem boosts and reassurance, however, the level of reassurance may be dependent on whether an individual’s self-esteem is directly affected by social interactions or the feedback itself (Ellison, et al., 2007).

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Social Media and Self-Beliefs

Social media can be used to maintain and strengthen bonds (Ellison, Lampe, & Steinfield, 2007). Ideally, usage fulfills social aspects of a self-construal, leading to an increased self-esteem. Feedback from values, such as “likes”, may be reassurance of social status, allowing this increase of self-esteem. Thus, we expected that self-esteem and social media usage would correlate. We also expected that one’s need for reassurance would relate to social media usage. Finally, we examined what other individual differences might correlate or predict one’s social media usage.

Participants completed a survey containing the Attitude toward Social Media Scale (Pittman & Reich, 2016), State Self-Esteem Scale (Heatherton & Polivy, 1991), and Need for Reassurance (Coyne, 1976). The social media site preferred and the number of likes received on their most recent post was also recorded. Also, participants completed additional measures: Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ; Avila, Caseras, Molto, & Torrubia, 2001), and Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Bell, Boldero, Davies, 2015).

Our first hypothesis regarding state self-esteem (SE) was partially supported. Although participants attitudes toward social media was not correlated with SE (r=-.02, p=.982), it related to how many likes they received on their latest post (r=.28, p=.005). Our second hypothesis was not supported as excessive reassurance seeking was not related to social media attitudes (r=-.04, p=.681) nor likes (r=-.06, p=.541).

Exploratory hierarchical regression analysis indicated that other social media factors played a role in self-esteem. First, we added number of likes as a predictor (B = .28, p = .008), while controlling for type of social media (i.e., snapchat users had higher SE than non-users). The model was significant, F(3, 93) = 3.03, p = .033, R2 = .09. Addition of individual differences improved the model, F(7, 89) = 5.67, p < .001, R2 = .31. Interestingly, the only significant predictor was avoidance of punishment (B = -.40, p < .001). These results suggest there is more to understanding the effects of social media on SE than previously thought.

It is important to note that data is still being collected. At this point statistical power is low, but results are promising. We believe that the feedback received through social media can offer self-esteem boosts and reassurance, however, the level of reassurance may be dependent on whether an individual’s self-esteem is directly affected by social interactions or the feedback itself (Ellison, et al., 2007).